I was recently invited to a spot in the leafy western suburbs that is quite the little gem. The Boulevard IGA is found at City Beach’s Empire Village Shopping Centre. Unless you’re a Floreat or City Beach local, you may not even know about it. Let me tell you that it isn’t your average IGA!
I was there with some other Perth Food Bloggers for a series of foodie workshops, which coincided with a market stall open day of local artisans that was held around the shopping centre.
First we met the Boulevard IGA’s owner James Kelly who owns two other gourmet IGAs on 2nd Ave in Mount Lawley and also Taylor Road IGA in Nedlands. All three of these stores are open 24/7 – why isn’t there one near my house?!
The IGA is well laid out and beautifully presented. There’s a big focus on Western Australian produce, both in the fresh sections and the small artisan food companies that they supply too.
James is very proud that The Boulevard IGA makes their own freshly squeezed orange juice, hundreds of freshly baked muffins and they sell over 700 bags of tortillas every week (I’ve since gone back to grab some more of those!). The super fresh tortillas are made from scratch in store on their specially imported machine and have no nasties in them – they taste brilliant! We love them with a curry or as a wrap.
The store’s Visual Merchandiser, Kate Flower, began with giving us a tour of the store and a meet-and-greet with the many local producers they stock. One of my very favourite things is to discover new local foodie companies and give them a shout out on my blog so you can discover them too! Here’s who we met…
The Bare Baker has delicious and delectable delicacies, that are gluten free and have no nasties. Their salted choc chip cookies are a must try.
The Little Bakery has too many scrumptious treats to mention, though I really love their cheese and poppyseed cookies.
My goodness – if you haven’t tried a cold smoked tomatoes then you need to add them to your Christmas platter pronto! I was really impressed by these tasty little morsels from Bee Lane. I’ve since headed back to the IGA, to grab another packet! They’re perfect with goats cheese and crackers.
Chocolatier extraordinaire Sue Lewis gave us a fascinating masterclass in chocolate tempering. I’d never eaten a chocolate nib and her chocolate creations are top notch.
Good Girls muesli is toasted here in Perth. The Good Girls chunky luxury topping is a must try and perfect for topping on yogurt or porridge. It’s even a yummy snack on it’s own.
Tasty Date are a little bit naughty and nice too, specialising in stuffed dates, that are chocolate coated. They also have a delicious range of other sweet treats and their rocky road is pretty darn tasty.
Pepper Tree Fine Foods have a fantastic range of vegetarian meal kits from all around the world. I’ve tried Audra’s Malaysian Satay Curry, which is absolutely delicious and perfect for a meat free Monday.
Kate took us through how to create a wonderful summer platter, with produce from the Boulevard IGA, in our next masterclass.
I was really impressed with how she prepared the antipasto and cheese plates with such flair, I’m not too sure if my attempt would look as mouth-watering, but I will give it a go!
I picked up loads of cool tips and loved the way Kate drizzled the Postcode Honey over the blue cheese and walnuts. It really gave the platter that wow factor and what a delicious combination!
Afterwards, we got to dig into the treats on the platters for our lunch. I really loved the super quick rocket, stone fruit, cheese and prosciutto salad. It was literally chucked together in seconds, with a little dressing to finish off. It looks impressive and is really delicious.
Next, I had lots of fun learning how to create our own mason jar floral arrangement. At The Boulevard IGA they have a big range of fresh flowers. We used native flowers and they lasted a good few weeks at home. I think Mel (Take Me To Foodie Heaven) and I had a bit of a hidden talent!
It was lovely to meet Stefania, the owner of Il Gelato. I have to admit, I didn’t realise that il Gelato is a WA company. My favourite of their flavours just has to be the salted caramel and there are loads more to try too. Keep an eye out for their limited edition Christmas range – Raspberry Mango Pavlova and Spiced Minced Pie.
I’ve longed admired Pressed Daily and their healthy and refreshing juices. I also love their philosophy that their juices are for everyone and you don’t have to be a health nut yogi to enjoy. This immunity juice was really tasty and I felt like I was giving my immune system a boost too.The Boulevard IGA is well worth a visit, even if you live a little further away. Take your esky down and stop for a bite to eat at one of the new cafes and restaurants there too. I didn’t realise there was so many to choose from – The Groper and His Wife, Park & Vine, Georges Café, Boulevard Pizzeria and more. It’s quite a foodie destination and the IGA is perfect for stocking a foodie Christmas hamper or scrumptious Christmas platter.
I’d like to thank Luke from Style Counsel and James & Kate from the Boulevard IGA for having me and giving me the opportunity to taste my way around this fantastic IGA. Big thanks also to all of the wonderful business owners we met and for the best goodie bag EVER! As The Boulevard IGA says “For The Love Of Food” – I agree!
PS… How are my floral skills!? 🙂